tv BBC World News America Special WHUT May 10, 2011 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT
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and now, bbc world news america. >> this is bbc world news america reporting from washington. i'm kathy kaye. a deadly escalation in libya. nato steps up its bombardment in tripoli but it hasn't stopped muammar gaddafi's forces from going after rebels. scooping up skype. the global digital dominance microsoft pays billions to purchase the internet phone giant and the office man may be in a chinese prison but his work is speaking for him from new york to london and so are supporters. >> all types of strange things, but rarely are we dangerous.
welcome to our viewers on pbs in america and also around the globe. taking the fight to muammar gaddafi. that's exactly what nato forces are doing after launching nearly three hours of air assaults on the libyan capital. it is the heaviest nato bombardment in weeks and comes as the battle seems to be grinding to a stalemate. as the missiles fall, a humanitarian crisis grows and many refugees have now paid with their lives. >> after the bombing, the protest. these were supporters of muammar gaddafi outside a burned plastic surgery hospital in libya today. libyan he officials say it was just one civilian target hit during nato's latest bombardment. they claim the attack also damaged buildings concerned with the welfare of children. it was certainly the heaviest attack by nato aircraft for several weeks
and lasted more than three hours. nato insists it is targeting only military facilities. >> the targets we have been hitting and it happened last time in tripoli are controlled bunkers. just to make clear, nato is not targeting individuals. it is not in our man day. our mandate is to protect civilian population from attack or from the threat of attacks by gaddafi regime forces. >> thousands of libyans are still risking their lives by fleeingth conflict. the u.n. high commission for refugees suggested today that hundreds of others may have drowned in recent weeks. one report said that a single boat with 600 people onboard may have sunk. >> in one case at least, people were actually forced onto getting onto a boat by armed men and this includes people who had survived the initial shipwreck, so we're
extremely concerned about the outflow of people from libya. >> meanwhile, rebel fighters in the besieged city of misurata seem to have broken through after weeks of deadlock. these troops say they're now set to advance along the coast after more of gaddafi 's troops there were attacked by nato. but advances here have in the past been quickly reversed. no sign of any decisive victory for either side. >> in syria, meanwhile, there is no question about outside intervention but today the crackdown continued against anti-government protestors. one human rights group is now reporting that more than 750 civilians have been killed since the uprisinging gan in mid march. heavy gunfire is again being reported in a suburb of da mass skas and one of president assaad's advisors insists the government has gained the upper hand.
jim has been monitoring events from neighboring lebanon. >> this is how the defense has been dealt with in syria. a couple hundred young people in a shopping square in damascus singing the national anthem. that was enough to attract the attention of the secret police. the youngsters were pushed towards vans and cuffed and driven off. many have been driven off like this and later freed after being maltreated and tortured. these are some of president assaad's other enforcers. they are from the militia that comes from his own minority sect. these videos were proudly posted on the internet. last month, they filmed themselves beating and
humiliating detainees in the coastal town where troops and tanks are gren in action now. the activities of this militia working hand in glove with regular forces inevitably stirred sectarian tension in a country with a sunni majority. despite the iron fist crackdown, defiance continued in the countryside in the south. army units and tanks are now moving into these areas to kwell dissent. they say they're taking gangs of armed terrorists. it has been cut off for more than two weeks. the u.n. has not been able to get a promised humanitarian mission into the city. it's concerned. outside concern, sanctions are not likely to affect what is happening on the ground. the regime is facing its most serious challenge in more than 40 years of rule
by the assaad family. it's not going to loosen its grip on the say so of outsiders. bbc news, beirut. >> events continuing to unfold in the region. next week, president obama has invited king abdulla of jordan to the white house to discuss this ongoing unrest r a brief time ago i spoke with jordan's former prime minister who currently says he works for the international endowment for peace. when you look at what is happening in syria, what has happened in bahrain, yemen, does it suggest to you that the arab's spring has sprung as far as it is going to go, that actually tunisia and egypt were it and elsewhere the protestors will get crushed by oppressive regimes? >> well, different oppressors will assume different ways of response to this, depending on
different conditions. there is no question in my mind that this is a process that has started and only started. i think we will measure what is going on in terms of decades rather than months and years. yes, we probably have seen some homogeneous societies like egypt and tunisia you undergo a relative peaceful processes. in countries such as syria where the minority regime rules over the rest of the population, we might -- we will not see a peaceful transition, i think. >> we have king abdulla coming to washington next week. what does the united states need to do to foster the process of democratic change in the middle east? what more could it be doing? >> i think the united states, you know, pursued the policy first of privatizing democracy over reform and ended up with neither. the united states realizes
that this policy has failed, that it is now a struggle within the administration over what new policy to come up with. king abdulla is the first arab leader that president obama is going to see and i'm sure there is talk about this process, how can the united states and international community support the reform process without imposing it, something that leads to pow sharing and leads to -- leads to power sharing. >> do the events of the past week, the killing of osama bin laden, does that change the dynamic, do you think, in the middle east, when it comes to the path of extremism? does it encourage it? does it discourage it? >> i think it discourages extremism. i think that, you know, extremism of that type is on the wane. i think what the arab street has shown in recent months is that there is another way to affect change, not through violence, not
through killing other people, but through peaceful change and i think that has served well. >> what about the the white house's reaction to the killing of bin laden. they welcomed the fact that bin laden was there and said americans shouldn't have killed him. >> that is unfortunate, but having said that, i think there is no possibility of a peaceful agreement between the israelis and the palestinians, that does not include hamas, and if you look at the hamas position, vis-a-vis the peace process and vis-a-vis violence, that has evolved immensely. >> he so it would be in america's interest to recognize that? >> it is in the world's interest and in israel's interest as well to affect a peaceful settlement now rather than wait until later. >> thank you for coming in. more coverage of events throughout the arab world, visit our website and you will find the latest news along with complete analysis from from our correspondents on the ground.
in other news news from around the world, reports here in the united states suggest pakistan may soon allow american investigators to speak to osama bin laden's three widows who are currently in pakistani custody. there has been no official confirmation of this and there is nothing known on what they could offer. >> japan says they will continue with nuclear power, following the fukushima plant problem. the president says he will take a pay cut until that crisis is resolved. >> flood warnings are in effect in some southern american states as the rising mississippi river rushes downstream towards louisiana and the gulf of mexico. in the city of memphis, the waters are now expected to recede. the extensive levee system has kept floodwaters away from most neighborhoods. >> now, would you pay $8.5 billion for a company that's losing money? if you're microsoft, the answer is yes. today, the computer giant
bought skype, the free internet telephone service in its biggest deal ever. microsoft hoped the acquisition will keep it relevant in and increasingly mobile world and give it access to a user base of roughly 170 million people who log on to skype every month. but is it worth it? our technology correspondent has all the details. >> microsoft business software powers 90% of computers and the other are evolutionizes the way many communicate. skype is being swallowed up now by microsoft. it's just eight years since skype started helping people to make calls over the internet for nothing. this is the third time it has been bought and sold. microsoft has been struggling to prove it can compete with the likes of google and apple. now, as it tries to make an impact on the mobile phone world it wants skype to have did become a bigger force in
communications. the two partners in this huge deal told me they now have ambitious plans. >> it's really kind of a rare asset, and the word skype in many sense means communications to a lot of people in the sense of ul askype you -- of i'll skype you. >> the skype brand is going to stay strong. we will have great assets in both couldn'ts to super charge them and take it to the next level. >> skype is now used by 170 million people around the world, not just on their computers, but on the move on their mobile phones and even on their tablet devices. microsoft wants to tap in to this connected community, but it is paying a huge price for a business that isn't even profitable. the price tag on skype looks exorbitant but microsoft was competing with others to buy the business. >> so this shows that even though it doesn't make money, the idea of talking for free and easily around the world is appealing as we look to sort of change the way we talk through twitter through facebook, through
e-mail and other forms of communication. microsoft will now hope to bring skype to new places like its xbox gaming console and by paying a hefty price is proving they can be a force in the world of tech. >> for more of what this deal means for microsoft and the future of the industry, i spoke with the chief mergers and acquisitions reporter for the "new york times". why would you pay $8.5 billion for a company that's losing money? >> you paid $8.5 billion on the hope, on the belief that you can actually cue it in on a strategy, which is to take skype and integrate it across the platform of microsoft products. it is going to be a challenge but if they do it right, the goal will be to implement skype into your microsoft office, into that outlook program that you have on your mobile phone, into hotmail and bing, a search engine which competes
with google and now into the ex-box and kinect on your t.v. and in the gaming console. so if you can actually do all of that, skype is a very sticky product, people who use it stick with it and it gets integrated across the board. having said that, microsoft doesn't have the greatest record for integrating something these acquisitions, so so we won't know if this deal works out for them for at least another 12-24 months. is this really the story of the demise of the pc and rise of mobile or is that putting it too simply? >> no, i think that's part of it. i think part of it is this new sense of communication and what that actually means. i'm looking at you through a camera. people are going to be able to now do that from their homes through skype, through computers, as we said, through the xbox and on their mobile phones and through tablets and so that is the future and in part, i think microsoft is
trying to capture a piece of that. they're going up against these juggernauts, google with google voice and all the communication tools that they're providing through g mail and the like, and then on the other side you have apple with its devices am his os so that's a striking point. by the way, the elephant in the room is facebook. facebook would have loved to buy this and integrate video communications and conferencing into facebook. now they have to build it themselves. they haven't had an ipo yet so they don't have $8.5 billion to throw around. all of this is aimed at that. >> you mentioned some of the problems and the fact that microsoft doesn't have the most solicituous history with these mergers. we would like to think of gates as one of the most intelligent businessmen in america. do you think even without gates at the helm that microsoft is going to pull this off? athink they have a better chance of making this work. for all the products that they offer, they can do more with this than just about anybody
else can, simply because they actually are in all of these markets. they're in the business market. this is going to compete against cisco and cisco tem he will presence -- telepresence, it is going to compete on the wireless side. they can do a lot more with it and that's how they can justify the price, of course if it works out. >> can they actually make money. if skype hasn't been able to make money out of this, is it just leveraging it across the company or will they subsidize it with other parts of microsoft's business? >> i think they will be subsidizing. this is more of an offensive move. skype is not a bleeding edge new technology. this is an entrenched technology, older technology, but as i said before, it is a sticky technology. if they can leverage this, 170 million users and bring them into the microsoft fold, they can defend themselves in a better way against all these other competitors. >> thank you very much, andrew. >> thank you.
>> and in one more note from the technology world, google announced today it is launching an on-line music service similar to the operation offered by amazon t allows users to store and access up to 20,000 songs wherever they are, but it is still unclear whether the recording industry will go along with the plan. you're watching bbc world news america. still to come, the beautiful game comes under some ugly allegations after a top english official charges corruption at the highest ranks. gold recently its fortunes have been shining bright around the globe, and no more so than in india. one-third of the world's gold jewelry is brought there. this time of year the commodity is in hot demand. >> this is mumbai's gold rush. shoppers here at the bazaar, one of the largest jewelry markets buying the metal for the hindu
festival. legend says if you buy now, you will be forever prosperous. it can be seen across inya. not even last week's slumping gold prices has put people off buying, and shoppers say they expect prices to rebound to record levels before too soon. >> at this point in time, they come to buy gold today, because they might feel it is going up. >> for centuries the indians have had a love affair with gold. many consider it sacred. little wonder that india is the world's largest gold market. it is not just jewelry which people are bringing in droves. for this student, it's all about bouillon, not bangles.
he's buying gold coins now as an investment for the future. >> i will have experience and for my future. >> there is an increase in the number of indians taking out bank accounts linked to the mecca's market value. with these new developments and india's love of gold, analysts say it is set to remain the country's hottest commodity. bbc news, mumbai. >> the world cup, it is the most widely viewed sporting event in the world but football's ruling body is mired in controversy yet again and it has nothing to do with the play on the pitch. the man who once led england's campaign to host the 2018 cup has come out with explosive allegations about corruption at heart of the bidding process.
our sports editor has the story. >> ever since england's world cup bid humiliation, there have been questions an recriminations about the way they choose their cup hosts. but, almost six months after that announcement, the former head of england's bid went public with the most explosive claims so far. at the center of the allegations, the controversial, a vice president jack warner, and they say he was asked for $2.5 million pounds to build an education center. >> in my view, the proposition was out of the question, and today i can describe it as a state whisper that you could have heard around that lounge and he said you -- i will leave out some of the language. he said you must be joking, jack, you're talking about 2.5 million pounds. >> and another fifa member asked for a knight hood in return for
his support. i said it was completely impossible. we didn't operate in the united kingdom like that. he shrugged his shoulders and turned and walked away. >> and fresh evidence handed to the select committee by the sunday times pointed the finger at two more executives who were accused of receiving $1.5 million for supporting the winners of the race for 2022. norm says it was here at this luxury hotel that jack warner asked for cash in support for for england's world cup bid, a series of new claims that pose questions about the way they handle the world cup bidding contest, a contest which has left their reputation in tatters. the fifa president has seen two members banned for breaking their code of ethics. with a re-election, the pressure
is on now to take further action. >> now there is a new round of information coming in, so let us take time to digest it and to start investigations by asking for evidence on what has been said. >> today's revelations will not give england a second chance to win 2018, but they could provide a turning point in the way world football is run. >> david bond on what is not looking like a very beautiful game tonight. now a controversy brewing in china. for five weeks there is no sign of the chinese artist who was detained by security staff at beijing airport. his detention has prompted a global appeal by the sculptor who wants museums and art galleries throughout the world to close for the day in protest. our arts editor reports.
>> he is considered by many to be one of the most important artists of the 21st century. it is this recent installation that brought the chinese artist to the attention of the wider british public. 37 days ago, the globetrotting artist was detained at beijing airport by the chinese authorities. nothing had been heard from him since. but his shows go on. one has just opened in new york. meanwhile here in london, there are two of his shows opening this week, and as you can see, the works arrived but the artist hasn't. >> he was due to be here today, helping to install this exhibition. the chinese government initially said he was being investigated for economic crime. that was some time ago, and as
the days mount without further word, friends, colleagues and fellow artists are becoming ing creasingly concerned. >> the chinese government needs to accuse him of something or let him go. i think it's also important that as a community of artists, we stick together. artists do all kinds of strange things. rarely are we dangerous. >> and this latest sculpture which opened in paris today was dead kated to him. both artists share the same gallery in london. its owner is devastated. >> how do we put ourselves into the heads of chinese authoritys? what do we have to do to persuade them that what they have done is an error of judgment. >> he is a political artist, this showing children lost in a szechuan earthquake.
he is critical of the chinese government which he told me last year he would like to see changed. >> they have to come to a much more liberal and democratic society. everybody knows it. it is just a matter of time and what is going to trigger the change. >> what do you think will trigger the change? >> is it the artist? >> yes, but maybe a few hundred, a few thoud sands -- thousand of him. >> today he has disappeared. his supporters hope that he will return. >> in prison in china. that does it for tonight's broadcast. you can always get updates on our website and get in touch with me and most of the bbc world news team at twitter, and thanks so much for watching see you tomorrow.
hello and welcome. see the news unfold. get the top stories from around the globe and pick to play video reports. go to bbc.com to experience the in depth expert reporting of bbc world news on-line. funding was made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe vermont, and honolulu, and newman's own foundation, and the john d. and catherine t. macarthur dafo aonunndanni bonk. union bank has put its financial strength to work for a ride range of companies from small